Swim Poll of the Week: Should USA Swimming Restrict Tech Suits in Age Group Competition?

This is the Swim Poll of the Week for Thursday, August 17, 2017, sponsored by Strechcordz Swim Training Products. In our last poll, we wanted to know: Should USA Swimming restrict the use of technical suits in age group competition?

The results are in, and…

Here are the answers:

Yes (61%)

No (39%)

60 Comments

60 comments

  1. Justin Kinney

    of course they should be restricted. At $300-500 a pop, Speedo, Arena, et. al. will not like that though.

  2. Heather York DiFulvio

    Yes. And then they should enforce that by not allowing teams to name their 13&Older events as Senior so that their 11-12 year olds can wear their suits.

  3. Connie Olympia R

    Yes, gives advantage to the rich kids who can afford them. Let them swim with skill first, then suits when in college or elite levels when they have more mastery of the skill.

  4. Belkis Barrera Lane

    Sure. Take down all records that were made with the tech suits & Start over. Otherwise leave tech suits as optional.

    • avatar
      Michael

      In 2009 fine stripped the entire World, still, people breaking records!

  5. Jerry Tyler

    No. Leave it to the family if they choose to purchase the tech suits. Kids in competitive baseball spend $500 on a bat, competitive cheerleaders spend $250-500 on competition suits, and junior golfers use clubs that professional golfers use.

  6. Aimee Trout-Foster

    all I know is that an 8 and under doesn’t need to be wearing a tech suit. Absurd

  7. Hannah Davies

    Where do you stop – not allowing anyone else to train more, paying for private lessons, one to one coaching, underwater skills video etc the list is endless. If parents are willing to pay then let them. If parents don’t then there is a word called NO!

  8. Glen Silvers

    No tech suits for challenge or AGIs. Champs and above ok. IMHO.

  9. Paul Poitevent

    No. It’ll teach kids an important lesson early in life. Life is not fair.

  10. Asuka Forest

    Some people are saying that tech suit gives advantage to rich kids. But realistically, if you are a poor family, can you afford your kid to be in competitive swim in the first place? Just the fact that you can compete, you are already financially privileged, so at that point, does it matter that some of them can or are willing to pay more than the other? I don’t know if it makes that big of a difference for younger kids. But I found one on a serious discount and bought it for my then 9-yr old, and her time improved drastically. I don’t know how much of it was a placebo effect.

    • Sha Oui

      Different teams have different fees. Many clubs also offer financial aid to families who cannot afford the regular dues of the program. Aside from that, wouldn’t you rather save the placebo effect/actual benefits of the tech suits for when your swimmer is at a higher level. Age-group performances do not always translate to success at the senior level.

      • avatar
        shedog

        I just paid the fees for both of my kids for next season – they charge almost $8000 for 2 kids. This is without travel meets, private lessons, and gear. I refuse to allow my 10 year old to wear these suits – When she is 12 and IF she is close to a zone cut I will consider it. Having said that I am not poor, but 8k hurts for anyone to pa, that is a vacation that we cant go on now.

    • Joy Lim

      Couldn’t agree more 👍

    • James Bice

      That’s a terrible comparison. If you can afford a car then you must be able to afford a Ferrari right?

  11. Louise Smith

    No. Suits don’t make the swimmer.

  12. avatar
    Swim mom

    Not your business to tell families what they can and can’t do. If it’s legal in swimming, everyone should be able to wear them. Businesses like arena and tyr will not survive without age groupers. Athletes will not be able to make a living as professionals because companies will not pay for endorsing a suit no one can wear.

  13. Rania Soued

    Science says the suit will only give 1-2 sec advantage and only if very very tight (right size) which little girls can’t take anyways.
    They would usually go for a bit bigger size to be able to breathe, and to be able to wear on their own.
    And they do it because they want to look like Katinka or Sara Or Simone.
    They want to be in a “shark” SKiN!!
    After hundreds of hours of training for this big day, i feel that they’v earned it.
    The truth is: they are so so expensive!!
    I will buy what i can afford to buy. No more no less.

  14. Johanna Kaschke

    there are many quite affordable tech suits on the market, which look just as good as the expensive ones.

    • James Bice

      Tech suits aren’t about looks.

    • Johanna Kaschke

      James Bice That is true but as the question is about banning them at age-groups for many younger swimmers it is often about looks, to have a leg-suit like the top swimmers and I noticed it increases confidence to have one of those. I bought expensive ones for my swimmer, I can see the difference in quality but young kids often are happy just to have a leg-suit on to just look the same.

  15. avatar
    Rene

    No. There are kids who have big goals at a young age. These suits will not replace dedicated training but they can be the difference between a Zone cut or not. Not every child who swims have dreams and aspirations to get to a State meet, zone meet, sectional meet. For those who do these suits become a vital part of thei “gear”. Do you stop kids from using fins, a snorkel, etc because other parents do not want to make the investment? Preventing kids from achieving their goals by denying them the proper equipment beaucse other kids don’t have the same goals is no way to run a sport.

  16. Sandra King

    Other sports are not regulated … leave the decision to parents or kids who save to buy Their own suit… micro management

    • Heather York DiFulvio

      Other sports don’t have different uniforms that “give an advantage” if you spend the $$$. They have a single uniform that barely changes from age group to age group. But there are restrictions on equipment…

    • Sandra King

      and the impenitent is a bunch more money and has whatever possible advantage already part of it. it should be an individual choice and worn for state champs etc.

  17. Amy Lynn

    Yes! Please restrict them for 12&u’s!

  18. Jen Thompson

    Then you need to make adjustments in other sports.. where does it end?

    • Heather York DiFulvio

      Why? How does what swimming decides affect soccer or Little League?

    • Heather York DiFulvio

      Sports that, by the way, do already regulate equipment like bats and ball inflation and cleats, etch.

    • Jen Thompson

      I’m just making a statement bc that’s what parents will do..you banned this here, so should not ban that there…
      Tech suits worn by swimmers have to be FINA approved to be worn in usaswimming meets, so yes these are already restricted. To wear them Is a decision a thats up to parents and coaches

  19. Dan Smith

    Absolutely! The suit wars and who has more money have gone far enough!

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  21. Lesley Kuska

    Missing the point, the focus on adolescent swimming should be about getting faster through perfect practIce, technique development and commitment to the sport, not a reliance on a suit. Coaches should know arT what point age group swimmers should be wearing suits — nuff said.

  22. Pamela Velasco Rahmaan

    No, should be up to the family. It took a long time for me to consider buying them, let people choose

  23. avatar
    Frances

    No. Michael Phelps went to the Olympics as an age-group swimmer. That won’t be the last time an age-grouper makes it. Without tech suits we are depriving age-groupers a chance of a lifetime.

  24. Frances Avila Major Newman

    I am not sure what they mean by “restrict.” Michael Phelps and Katie Phelps were age-group swimmers when they qualified for the Olympics. We would have to wipe away their legacies.

Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is the host of Swimming World TV and a staff writer. A contributor to Swimming World since 2009, he has covered NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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